Recycling for healthy oceans

16 September 2021

Holcim is a world leader in recycling, with up to 50 million tons of materials recycled across our business this year. Our goal is to recycle 100 million tons by 2030.

When it comes to preserving our oceans, our commitment goes even further.

 

Circular Explorer: a vehicle for recycling and education

The Circular Explorer is the first of its kind solar powered catamaran to clean plastic waste from coastal areas. Developed by One Earth One Ocean and made possible by Holcim, the catamaran can recover four tons of plastic waste per day. To empower broad-based action, Circular Explorer also runs an education program and serves as a science laboratory to advance marine research.

In July 2021 the catamaran began its journey in the Baltic Sea, focusing on education and science programs. In 2022, Circular Explorer will relocate to the Philippines to continue those programs while also beginning plastic recovery and recycling.

circular explorer boat 36

Bubble Barrier: catching plastics before they reach the ocean

Preventing litter is easier than collecting it. That’s why our colleagues at Geocycle are installing Bubble Barriers, a smart, non-invasive technology to efficiently remove plastics from rivers before they reach the oceans. The technology creates a bubble ‘screen’ by placing a specially designed airtube diagonally on the river bed. Waste is brought to the surface and plastic is channeled to the riverside, where it is collected and co-processed for energy.

 

Enabling better waste management in partnership with GIZ

We’re working with coastal communities in India, Mexico, Morocco and the Philippines to improve land-based waste management systems. As with the Bubble Barrier, the goal is to collect plastic litter before it ever reaches the ocean. Participating communities are implementing environmentally-sound and socially-acceptable waste reduction and management programs, with co-processing as a viable and sustainable option for local plastic waste management. These programs are undertaken in partnership with Germany’s development agency, GIZ.

As a world leader in recycling, we are committed in driving the circular economy and preserving nature. On our net zero journey, we recycle 50 million tons of materials across our business today and are on our way to 100 million tons by 2030. At the forefront of green building solutions, we launched Susteno, the world’s first green cement with 20% recycled construction and demolition waste inside, representing 20% less materials drawn for nature, to build more with less.